Ask Pajiba (Almost) Anything: All About Farts. Seriously.
So I’ll be honest. We got a super sincere last minute question in our inbox yesterday. But I’m holding it until next week, because I didn’t want anything to distract from the glorious edition of AP(A)A I have prepared for you today. ‘Tis Thanksgiving week, after all. So let’s give thanks for short advice columns, silly questions, and most of all — for flatulence.
(Reminder: send all your stinky questions to [email protected] and we’ll take a whiff. Don’t feel self-conscious — if we’re willing to address THIS question, we’ll probably be able to handle whatever you’ve got brewing up inside of you. And yes, if I could have come up with more fart quips to put here, I absolutely would have.)
So here it is, the question that frankly I’m shocked didn’t make its way to us sooner:
Who is the worst?
My partner and I are very comfortable with each other. So comfortable in fact, that farting is just part of life. However, we are two very different people when it comes to gas. My partner farts ALL THE TIME. It is constant and loud. It is so loud that I have been woken up by the sound of his farts. They are sometimes so gross sounding that it makes me a bit nauseated. On the plus side, they don’t always stink. Sometimes they just sound gross. Mind you, he is human, so they do smell more often than not.
Now I don’t have gas as often. When I do, it’s bad. Often silent, but oh so very deadly. It’s the kind of smell the has weight and lingers. When I stand up 10 minutes later, often the fart has hidden a piece of its soul in the seat. It’s released on the world one more time to wreck havoc.
So here is the question: which one of us is the biggest monster?
First off, let me assure you that farting already IS just a part of life, Toots. Comfort has nothing to do with it. Jodi pointed out this lovely little poem, courtesy of Her Madgesty, which may help put things into perspective:
“A fart is a chemical substance
It comes from a place called bum.
It penetrates through the trousers
And lands with a musical hum.
To fart, to fart, ‘tis no disgrace
For it gives the body ease.
It warms the blankets on a cold winter’s night
And suffocates all the fleas.”
That said, some members of staff are of the belief that even when things are natural, it doesn’t mean you should acknowledge them publicly. We all know that we, as humans, are disgusting flesh piles. And yet we have a highly developed sense of shame to help mitigate our essential foulness. Think of it as akin to the public bathroom policy: what occurs in a public bathroom stall may as well occur on a separate plane of existence. It’s not reality, no one can hold you accountable, and as soon as you exit you feign total amnesia of whatever might have happened there. You heard nothing. You smelled nothing. And for the sake of all that is right in this world, you DID nothing. NOTHING HAPPENED, DO YOU UNDERSTAND? NOTHING.
Following this logic, the answer to your question would be: you’re both monsters, and we’re glad you have found each other, but everyone else needs to continue to pretend that bodily functions are an urban myth for the sake of a civilized society. And also, what’s a “fart”? See — AMNESIA.
Or perhaps I am now the worst, just for having such intimate, detailed knowledge of the fart patterns of two strangers lodged in my head. Your unique brand of extreme honesty has now stripped me of my ignorance. No matter what happens, I’ve lost.
On the other hand, the sheer chutzpah is takes to tell strangers about this stuff IS perversely impressive. And that you chose THIS forum to share the tales of your flatulence is both inspiring and disappointing in equal measures. We’ve attracted you here. So it’s on us, in a way. Is Pajiba, in this case, “the worst”?
But look, you asked us to engage in a game of (thankfully) long-distance “whose farts are the worst” so of course it comes down to you or your partner. And here’s what we think: You are truly lucky to have found another person to be so comfortable with, and who is so comfortable with you. Your love is strong. So strong that you are able to share… all of yourselves openly and without shame, not only with each other, but with complete strangers on the internet. And we’re happy for you! Specifically, we’re happy that you’re together in a place that hopefully has good ventilation. And so in the spirit of this love, I propose that we let the question of whether the louder farter or the smellier farter is “the worst” slide, and instead be thankful that two people of such differing flatulence found each other in the first place. Neither of you is the better or the worst. You simply balance each other out. Together, you form one complete(ly awful) fart.
Or, to put it another way: together, you’re the biggest monster of all.
That’s it for this week! I hope that this answer gave you all something to keep in mind as you go for that second helping of turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and pie. May you each spend the holiday with loved ones who balance out the effects of your bodily functions. Or barring that, may you at least luxuriate in your own shameful flatulence alone — without writing to tell a bunch of strangers on the internet about it.